Academic journal article The University of Memphis Law Review

Learning Outcomes in a Flipped Classroom: A Comparison of Civil Procedure II Test Scores between Students in a Traditional Class and a Flipped Class

Academic journal article The University of Memphis Law Review

Learning Outcomes in a Flipped Classroom: A Comparison of Civil Procedure II Test Scores between Students in a Traditional Class and a Flipped Class

Article excerpt

I. Introduction........................................................................662

II. What is Flipping and Why is it Popular?..........................663

A. The History of Flipping....................................................667

B. The Perceived Benefits of Flipping..................................669

C. Perceived Concerns About Flipping................................675

III. The Role of Flipped Learning in Law School Pedagogy..............................................................................680

A. The Langdellian Model.....................................................680

B. Post-Modern Legal Education.........................................682

IV. The Civil Procedure Experiment......................................686

A. Spring 2013: A Traditional Approach..............................686

B. Spring 2014: The Flipped Classroom..............................687

C. The Final Exam................................................................689

V. The Results..........................................................................690

VI. Conclusion...........................................................................692

I. Introduction

By now, many legal educators have heard of a "flipped classroom," even if they may not be familiar with its meaning. The odds are great that more and more law students have experienced a flipped classroom in high school, college, or even in law school,1 although they may be unfamiliar with the pedagogical term. After learning about how the flipped classroom is being adapted for the law school course,2 I became convinced that such an approach to teaching could benefit my students' learning outcomes.

In January 2014, I decided to adapt my own Civil Procedure II materials to this new format. Unbeknownst to my students, I tracked the performance of this class to compare it to that of my Civil Procedure II class from the preceding year.3 Assigning the same readings from the same texts in both 2013 and 2014,4 I changed only the mode in which I delivered the material to my students. Information I had previously presented to my class in 2013 in the form of a lecture interspersed with Socratic dialogue I now provided to the 2014 class online in advance of class and indefinitely thereafter in the form of PowerPoint slides with my lec ture interposed as voiceover. Although I had also assigned hypothetical problems to the class in 2013, it was not uncommon that we would not have time to discuss all of those assigned problems in class. Inside the classroom in 2014, however, the class worked through assigned problems and many more requiring students to apply the content read and viewed in advance of class to hypothetical situations. I administered final examinations in both April 2013 and 2014 that were fifty percent identical. The content of the course and half the examination were the same in 2013 and 2014. The only thing that had changed was how I delivered that content to students.

This article documents my experience flipping a law school course in Civil Procedure. In Part II, I introduce the reader to the concept of flipped learning, as well as its development.5 In Part III, I describe the evolution of the traditional law school learning environment and discuss new trends in legal pedagogy.6 In Part IV, I explain the similarities and differences between my traditional course in Spring 2013 and my flipped course in 2014.7 In Part V, I compare the performances of my 2013 and 2014 classes on the same exam and draw conclusions therefrom.8 In Part VI, I conclude that the flipped learning experience was, overall, a success, although the objective performance of students on my exam was statistically insignificant.9

II. What is Flipping and Why is it Popular?

The concept of a flipped classroom is relatively new; in 2007, two chemistry teachers first developed it in a high school classroom in Colorado. …

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